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Meet OnHub: a new router for a new way to Wi-Fi

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Ugh...not again. You get home at the end of the day, and sit down to stream a new movie or upload vacation photos — and your Wi-Fi slows to a crawl or just stops working. Instead of relaxing in front of the screen or sharing those photos with friends, you spend it unplugging and re-plugging cords, trying to decipher blinking lights, or contemplating a call to customer support.

While we count on Wi-Fi more than ever to be entertained, productive, and stay connected, we’re streaming and sharing in new ways our old routers were never built to handle. So today, with our partner TP-LINK, we’re launching OnHub, a different kind of router for a new way to Wi-Fi. Instead of headaches and spotty connections, OnHub gives you Wi-Fi that’s fast, secure, and easy to use.



Designed for the Home
Many of us keep our router on the floor and out of sight, where it doesn’t work as well. We replaced unruly cords and blinking lights with internal antennas and subtle, useful lighting, so you’ll be happy placing OnHub out in the open, where your router performs its best.

Starts Fast, Stays Fast
During setup, OnHub searches the airwaves and selects the best channel for the fastest connection. A unique antenna design and smart software keep working in the background, automatically adjusting OnHub to avoid interference and keep your network at peak performance. You can even prioritize a device, so that your most important activity — like streaming your favorite show — gets the fastest speed.

A simple mobile app
OnHub makes it simple to set up and manage your Wi-Fi, all from the Google On app, available on Android or iOS. The Google On app tells you how much bandwidth your devices are using, lets you run a network check, and if there’s an issue with your Wi-Fi, the app offers suggestions to help. And, instead of lost passwords and sticky notes, it even reveals your password with a single tap and lets you text or email it to friends.

Just gets better
OnHub automatically updates with new features and the latest security upgrades, without interrupting your connection. In the future, OnHub can support smart devices that you bring into your home, whether they use Bluetooth® Smart Ready, Weave, or 802.15.4. We also plan to design new OnHub devices with other hardware partners in the future. Stay tuned for news from our second partner, ASUS, later this year.

Starting today, OnHub is available for pre-order for $199.99 from online retailers in the U.S. including the Google Store, Amazon, and Walmart.com. It will be available for sale in retail stores in the U.S. and in Canada in the coming weeks.

At the end of the day, we want our Wi-Fi to just work, so that we can do all the things we love to do online. Here’s to Wi-Fi with the reliability, speed, and security you want at home, without the frustrations you don’t.

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tsuckow
729 days ago
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But does it counter buffer bloat?
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6 public comments
expatpaul
729 days ago
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I saw this elsewhere, but it's worth repeating...

Just connect your Google router to your Google fiber connection and connect to it with your smartphone or laptop running a Google operating system and Google browser. Visit your Google home page (using Google's DNS servers, of course) to read your Google Mail, or perhaps catch up on the news with Google News, or use Google+ to see what your friends are up to, or get a little work done on Google Docs. Should you do some Google searches and end up on some non-Google sites, don't worry - you're still safe under the watchful eye of Google AdSense and Google Analytics. What have you got to be so paranoid about?
Belgium
jeterhere
729 days ago
I just Googled your reply, your ok ...
expatpaul
729 days ago
Heh
srsly
728 days ago
Someday soon we will all be making the conscious choice, "do I want to have my complete information and records with one company, or do I want to have three or four companies have 70% of my information apiece?"
expatpaul
728 days ago
@srsly: I really hope you're right but I don't see much evidence of this happening so far. Far too many people are far too happy to put all their data in the hands of a single company with no thought of the risks.
Courtney
729 days ago
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I trust literally zero products Google makes anymore, I'm not about to hand them my physical router. Buyer Beware.
Portland, OR
tomm74
729 days ago
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I have to wonder how much data about browsing (and other connections) it'll be sending "home"...
Cardiff
skorgu
730 days ago
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Can I put openwrt on it?
laza
730 days ago
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This could be cool!
Belgrade, Serbia
Ferret
730 days ago
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Anything that makes wifi easier and better.

Valve Unveils First Generation Steam Machines

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Valve has sent out a PDF that lists lays out some of the prices and specifications of the twelve Steam Machines. The twelve partners on board so far: Alienware, Alternate, CyberPowerPC, Digital Storm, Falcon NW, GigaByte, iBuyPower, Maingear, Material.net, Next Spa, Origin PC, Scan, Webhallen, and Zotac.

We've also gone ahead and written out the list of specs ourselves.
Zotac We'll have to wait for the hardware vendors themselves to give us the finer details. We do, though, have the details for the two CyberPower machines and Digital Storm's Bolt II. Anyways, see the complete list of specifications See below:




Alienware
Specifications and price: TBD

Alternate
$1399
CPU: Intel Core i5 4570
GFX: Gigabyte GTX 760
RAM: 16GB
Storage: 1TB SSHD

CyberPower PC
$499 and up
CPU: AMD / Intel Core i5 CPU
GFX: AMD Radeon R9 270 / Nvidia GTX 760
RAM: 8GB
Storage: 500GB

CYBERPOWERPC Steam Machine A - $499
Case: CYBERPOWERPC Steam Machine Gaming Chassis
Graphics: AMD Radeon R9 270 2GB GDDR5
Processor: AMD A6-6400K 3.90 GHz
Storage: 500GB SATA-III 7200 RPM HDD
RAM: 8GB DDR3 1600MHz Dual Channel Memory
Chipset: mITX motherboard w/ 802.11 WiFi + Bluetooth
Steam Controller
Steam OS

CYBERPOWERPC Steam Machine I - $699
Case: CYBERPOWERPC Steam Machine Gaming Chassis
Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 760 2GB GDDR5
Processor: Intel Core i3-4330 3.50 GHz
Storage: 500GB SATA-III 7200 RPM HDD
RAM: 8GB DDR3 1600MHz Dual Channel Memory
Chipset: mITX motherboard w/ 802.11 AC WiFi + Bluetooth
Steam Controller
Steam OS

Digital Storm - Bolt II
$2584
CPU: Intel Core i7 4770k
GFX: GTX 780 Ti
RAM: 16GB
Storage: 1TB HDD + 120GB SSD
http://www.digitalstormonline.com/bolt-ii.asp

Gigabyte - Brix Pro
Price TBD
CPU: Intel Core i7-4770R
GFX: Intel Iris Pro 5200
RAM: 2 x 4GB
Storage: 1TB SATA 6Gb/s

Falcon Northwest - Tiki
$1799 - $6000
CPU: Customizable
GFX: Nvidia Geforce GTX Titan
RAM: 18-16GB
Storage: Up to 6TB

iBuyPower
$499 and up
CPU: Quad Core AMD or Intel
GFX: Radeon GCN Graphics
RAM: 8GB
Storage: 500GB+

Materiel.net
$1098
CPU: Intel Core i5 4440
GFX: MSI Geforce GTX 760 OC
RAM: 8GB
Storage: 8GB+1TB SSHD

Origin PC - Chronos
Price TBD (configurable)
CPU: Intel Core i7 4470K (3.9-4.6Ghz)
GFX: 2 x 6GB Nvidia Geforce GTX Titan
RAM: U?
Storage: U?

Next Spa
Price TBD
CPU: Intel Core i5
GFX: Nvidia GT 760
RAM: 8GB
Storage: 1TB

Scan - NC10
$1090
CPU: Intel Core i3 4000M
GFX: Nvidia Geforce GTX 765M
RAM: 8GB
Storage: 500GB

Webhallen
$1499
CPU: Intel Core i7 4771
GFX: Nvidia GTX 780
RAM: 16GB
Storage: 1TB SSHD

Zotac
$599
CPU: Intel Core (TBD)
GFX: Nvidia Geforce GTX (TBD)
RAM: TBD
Storage: TBD
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tsuckow
1316 days ago
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NSA: Possibly breaking US laws, but still bound by laws of computational complexity

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Last week, I got an email from a journalist with the following inquiry. The recent Snowden revelations, which made public for the first time the US government’s “black budget,” contained the following enigmatic line from the Director of National Intelligence: “We are investing in groundbreaking cryptanalytic capabilities to defeat adversarial cryptography and exploit internet traffic.” So, the journalist wanted to know, what could these “groundbreaking” capabilities be? And in particular, could he mean that the NSA was buying quantum computers from D-Wave, and using them to run Shor’s algorithm to break the RSA cryptosystem?

I replied that, yes, that’s “possible,” but only in the same sense that it’s “possible” that the NSA is using the Easter Bunny for the same purpose. (For one thing, D-Wave themselves have said repeatedly that they have no interest in Shor’s algorithm or factoring. Admittedly, I guess that’s what D-Wave would say, were they making deals with NSA on the sly! But it’s also what the Easter Bunny would say.) More generally, I said that if the open scientific world’s understanding is anywhere close to correct, then quantum computing might someday become a practical threat to cryptographic security, but it isn’t one yet.

That, of course, raised the extremely interesting question of what “groundbreaking capabilities” the Director of National Intelligence was referring to. I said my personal guess was that, with ~99% probability, he meant various implementation vulnerabilities and side-channel attacks—the sort of thing that we know has compromised deployed cryptosystems many times in the past, but where it’s very easy to believe that the NSA is ahead of the open world. With ~1% probability, I guessed, the NSA made some sort of big improvement in classical algorithms for factoring, discrete log, or other number-theoretic problems. (I would’ve guessed even less than 1% probability for the latter, before the recent breakthrough by Joux solving discrete log in fields of small characteristic in quasipolynomial time.)

Then, on Thursday, a big New York Times article appeared, based on 50,000 or so documents that Snowden leaked to the Guardian and that still aren’t public. (See also an important Guardian piece by security expert Bruce Schneier, and accompanying Q&A.) While a lot remains vague, there might be more public information right now about current NSA cryptanalytic capabilities than there’s ever been.

So, how did my uninformed, armchair guesses fare? It’s only halfway into the NYT article that we start getting some hints:

The files show that the agency is still stymied by some encryption, as Mr. Snowden suggested in a question-and-answer session on The Guardian’s Web site in June.

“Properly implemented strong crypto systems are one of the few things that you can rely on,” he said, though cautioning that the N.S.A. often bypasses the encryption altogether by targeting the computers at one end or the other and grabbing text before it is encrypted or after it is decrypted…

Because strong encryption can be so effective, classified N.S.A. documents make clear, the agency’s success depends on working with Internet companies — by getting their voluntary collaboration, forcing their cooperation with court orders or surreptitiously stealing their encryption keys or altering their software or hardware…

Simultaneously, the N.S.A. has been deliberately weakening the international encryption standards adopted by developers. One goal in the agency’s 2013 budget request was to “influence policies, standards and specifications for commercial public key technologies,” the most common encryption method.

Cryptographers have long suspected that the agency planted vulnerabilities in a standard adopted in 2006 by the National Institute of Standards and Technology and later by the International Organization for Standardization, which has 163 countries as members.

Classified N.S.A. memos appear to confirm that the fatal weakness, discovered by two Microsoft cryptographers in 2007, was engineered by the agency. The N.S.A. wrote the standard and aggressively pushed it on the international group, privately calling the effort “a challenge in finesse.”

So, in pointing to implementation vulnerabilities as the most likely possibility for an NSA “breakthrough,” I might have actually erred a bit too far on the side of technological interestingness. It seems that a large part of what the NSA has been doing has simply been strong-arming Internet companies and standards bodies into giving it backdoors. To put it bluntly: sure, if it wants to, the NSA can probably read your email. But that isn’t mathematical cryptography’s fault—any more than it would be mathematical crypto’s fault if goons broke into your house and carted away your laptop. On the contrary, properly-implemented, backdoor-less strong crypto is something that apparently scares the NSA enough that they go to some lengths to keep it from being widely used.

I should add that, regardless of how NSA collects all the private information it does—by “beating crypto in a fair fight” (!) or, more likely, by exploiting backdoors that it itself installed—the mere fact that it collects so much is of course unsettling enough from a civil-liberties perspective. So I’m glad that the Snowden revelations have sparked a public debate in the US about how much surveillance we as a society want (i.e., “the balance between preventing 9/11 and preventing Orwell”), what safeguards are in place to prevent abuses, and whether those safeguards actually work. Such a public debate is essential if we’re serious about calling ourselves a democracy.

At the same time, to me, perhaps the most shocking feature of the Snowden revelations is just how unshocking they’ve been. So far, I haven’t seen anything that shows the extent of NSA’s surveillance to be greater than what I would’ve considered plausible a priori. Indeed, the following could serve as a one-sentence summary of what we’ve learned from Snowden:

Yes, the NSA is, in fact, doing the questionable things that anyone not living in a cave had long assumed they were doing—that assumption being so ingrained in nerd culture that countless jokes are based around it.

(Come to think of it, people living in caves might have been even more certain that the NSA was doing those things. Maybe that’s why they moved to caves.)

As many readers of this blog might know, Neal Koblitz—a respected mathematician and pioneer of elliptic curve cryptography, who has some ties to NSA—published a series of scathing articles, in the Notices of the American Mathematical Society and elsewhere, attacking the theoretical computer science approach to cryptography. Koblitz’s criticisms were varied and entertainingly-expressed: the computer scientists are too sloppy, deadline-driven, self-promoting, and corporate-influenced; overly trusting of so-called “security proofs” (a term they shouldn’t even use, given how many errors and exaggerated claims they make); absurdly overreliant on asymptotic analysis; “bodacious” in introducing dubious new hardness assumptions that they then declare to be “standard”; and woefully out of touch with cryptographic realities. Koblitz seemed to suggest that, rather than demanding the security reductions so beloved by theoretical computer scientists, people would do better to rest the security of their cryptosystems on two alternative pillars: first, standards set by organizations like the NSA with actual real-world experience; and second, the judgments of mathematicians with …taste and experience, who can just see what’s likely to be vulnerable and what isn’t.

Back in 2007, my mathematician friend Greg Kuperberg pointed out an irony to me: here we had a mathematician, lambasting computer scientists for trying to do for cryptography what mathematics itself has sought to do for everything since Euclid! That is, when you see an unruly mess of insights, related to each other in some tangled way, systematize and organize it. Turn the tangle into a hierarchical tree (or dag). Isolate the minimal assumptions (one-way functions? decisional Diffie-Hellman?) on which each conclusion can be based, and spell out all the logical steps needed to get from here to there—even if the steps seem obvious or boring. Any time anyone has tried to do that, it’s been easy for the natives of the unruly wilderness to laugh at the systematizing newcomers: the latter often know the terrain less well, and take ten times as long to reach conclusions that are ten times less interesting. And yet, in case after case, the clarity and rigor of the systematizing approach has eventually won out. So it seems weird for a mathematician, of all people, to bet against the systematizing approach when applied to cryptography.

The reason I’m dredging up this old dispute now, is that I think the recent NSA revelations might put it in a slightly new light. In his article—whose main purpose is to offer practical advice on how to safeguard one’s communications against eavesdropping by NSA or others—Bruce Schneier offers the following tip:

Prefer conventional discrete-log-based systems over elliptic-curve systems; the latter have constants that the NSA influences when they can.

Here Schneier is pointing out a specific issue with ECC, which would be solved if we could “merely” ensure that NSA or other interested parties weren’t providing input into which elliptic curves to use. But I think there’s also a broader issue: that, in cryptography, it’s unwise to trust any standard because of the prestige, real-world experience, mathematical good taste, or whatever else of the people or organizations proposing it. What was long a plausible conjecture—that the NSA covertly influences cryptographic standards to give itself backdoors, and that otherwise-inexplicable vulnerabilities in deployed cryptosystems are sometimes there because the NSA wanted them there—now looks close to an established fact. In cryptography, then, it’s not just for idle academic reasons that you’d like a publicly-available trail of research papers and source code, open to criticism and improvement by anyone, that takes you all the way from the presumed hardness of an underlying mathematical problem to the security of your system under whichever class of attacks is relevant to you.

Schneier’s final piece of advice is this: “Trust the math. Encryption is your friend.”

“Trust the math.”On that note, here’s a slightly-embarrassing confession. When I’m watching a suspense movie (or a TV show like Homeland), and I reach one of those nail-biting scenes where the protagonist discovers that everything she ever believed is a lie, I sometimes mentally recite the proof of the Karp-Lipton Theorem. It always calms me down. Even if the entire universe turned out to be a cruel illusion, it would still be the case that NP ⊂ P/poly would collapse the polynomial hierarchy, and I can tell you exactly why. It would likewise be the case that you couldn’t break the GGM pseudorandom function without also breaking the underlying pseudorandom generator on which it’s based. Math could be defined as that which can still be trusted, even when you can’t Trust math—even (or especially) when you don’t trust anything else.

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tsuckow
1439 days ago
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Announcing Pytheas

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Today, we are excited to bring you Pytheas : web resource and rich UI framework. This piece of software is heavily used at Netflix in building quick prototypes and web applications that explore/visualize large data sets.

Pytheas integrates Guice and Jerseyframeworks to wire REST web-service endpoints together with dynamic UI controls in a web application. The framework is designed to support the most common web UI components needed to build data exploration / dashboard style applications. It not only serves as a quick prototyping tool, but also acts as a foundation for integrating multiple data sources in a single application.




UI components bundle


The UI library bundled with Pytheas is based on a number of Javascript Open Source frameworks such asBootstrap,JQuery-UI,DataTables,D3etc. It also contains a number of JQuery plugins that we wrote to support specific use cases that we encountered in building Netflix internal applications/ dashboards. Some of the plugins include support for ajax data driven selection boxes with dynamic filter control, pop-over dialog box form templates, inline portlets, breadcrumbs, loading spinner etc.





Modular Design


An application based on Pytheas framework consists of one or more Pytheas modules.Each module is loosely coupled from each other. The module is responsible for supplying its own data resources and in fact can also provide its own rendering mechanism. Each data resource is a Jersey REST endpoint owned by the module.

By default Pytheas uses FreeMarker as the rendering template engine for each resource. The framework provide a library of reusable FreeMarker macros that can be embedded in a page to allow for rendering commonly used UI components. Each Pytheas module gets access to all the common page building blocks such as page layout containers, header, footer, navbar etc. which gets embedded by the framework.

Although Pytheas provides FreeMarker as the default template engine, the framework allows for plugging in your own template engine for each module. It'll need to supply its own Jersey Provider with it.







Getting Started


Pytheas project contains a simple helloworld application that serves as a template for building new applications using the framework. Please refer toinstructionson how to run helloworld application from a command line.



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tsuckow
1543 days ago
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Heck of a Job, Brownie!

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Super Happy Let's Be Friends Day Fun Hour

MUSKRAT RAMBLINGS
Monday, April 8, 2013
Posted by: JOHN


Daughter, Age 4, adores her daycare.

It’s a very spiffy place, and wifey and I likewise love it enormously. It’s also just over a mile away from my studio, and fifteen minutes out of downtown Madison. So while technically it’s on the other side of town from our house, Madison is not a very big town, and wifey and I were headed in that direction anyway.

But back to the point: Daughter, Age 4’s classroom has this bear called “Brownie.” He seems a decent sort, and every weekend, a different child gets to take him home, and come up with a story about their adventures with Brownie.

Super Happy Brownie Photo Fun Hour

A couple of weekends ago, it was Daughter’s turn. And the Wifey suggested that, instead of simply taking photos, I illustrate our delightful child’s story.

Obviously, this was a wonderful idea. Equally obviously, if I turned it down, I would have instantly become the Worst Father on the Planet.

Anyway, Brownie stayed with us a bit loner than he should have, as I was deep into Munchkin Pathfinder deadlines, to say nothing of the Kobolds Ate My Baby Kickstarter. But yesterday, at last, I was able to relax a bit, and sit down with Daughter and help her with her story.

So here it is: our first real Daddy-Daughter collaboration.

Super Happy Brownie Comic Fun Hour

I also drew a Brownie that kids in her class could keep and color.

Super Happy Brownie Photo Fun Hour

Anyway, if you know a kid who’d like to color a very brown teddy bear, you can download the PDF by clicking here.

Alternately, you can download a high-res JPG by clicking here.

In either case, it was a delightful Sunday morning, and all of us at the House of Muskrat wish Bownie well in his future travels.

***

OH HEY LOOK what was in the background of last week’s episode of GRIMM (NBC)

Super Happy Grimm Fun Hour

It’s even one of the signed, limited-edition posters. I drew a Duck of Doom on it.

They So they should have known that they were doomed!

John

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tsuckow
1589 days ago
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